Councillor Lister urges residents to remain calm

in the wake of last week's London bombings.


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Speaking at last night's council meeting he said that the perpetrators needed to understand that their actions would not undermine this country's democratic way of life.

The statement, which was agreed with opposition leader Stuart King, was followed by a minute's silence observed by all council members. The full text follows:

"Early on a pleasant summer day last Thursday London was subjected to an outrageous terrorist attack which was made without any warning - a cowardly and despicable attack in which the perpetrators used powerful and destructive bombs against ordinary, defenceless citizens going routinely about their normal, every day lives and business.

"These devices were planted on the London Underground and on a bus - all of them familiar, routine and well used features of our public transport system used by hundreds of thousands of passengers, commuters and tourists each day. Clearly, the intention of the bombers was to strike at innocent people to kill and to maim them, with no regard to the individuals themselves, their families, their cultural background or their nationality.

"Since then, we have all witnessed in the media the horrific scenes and the aftermath of these bombings, we have heard the harrowing accounts of survivors of their terrible ordeals and we have observed the heroic and strenuous efforts of the emergency services and transport workers as they carried out their rescue operations, with a calm dignity and efficiency and despite the dangers which they themselves often faced.

"As a Council, we send our condolences to those who have lost loved ones in this hideous attack, and our thoughts are with all those who have suffered injury and trauma. We wish for their speedy recovery and return to good health.

"We utterly condemn the perverted and callous methods of the bombers in seeking to destroy or influence British democracy in this way and we commit ourselves to opposing all that they stand for and the evil they represent to the British way of life which is so highly valued by many people from diverse cultural groups.

"The terrorists may have struck at the heart of our capital city but they need to understand that they have not, and never will, undermine the fundamental principles of tolerance, fair play and respect for the rule of law which are at the very heart of the British way of life - principles which the overwhelming majority of residents of Wandsworth and the UK wholeheartedly respect and support.

"In Wandsworth we commit ourselves to work with, and for, the whole community to ensure that these guiding principles are embedded in our way of life in order to counter the evil and malevolent intents of the terrorists.
We will continue to work together with all the Faith Groups to develop and foster understanding and harmonious relationships between the many diverse cultural and religious groups which make up our community.

"We will play our full part, with other London local authorities, in supporting the co-ordinated plans which exist for preparing for any emergencies which may occur across the capital and in responding to such incidents. Some of our officers were called upon last week to be prepared to assist on Thursday and Friday should it have been necessary as events unfolded.

"We will support the Police and the security services in their search for the perpetrators of last Thursday's bombings and in bringing them to justice. We will also support them and the other emergency services in their commendable efforts to prevent any further acts of terrorism in London or elsewhere.

"We urge residents of Wandsworth to remain calm and vigilant, to resume the normal patterns of their daily lives and to offer any assistance they can to the Police in their investigations. In that way, we can all demonstrate to the terrorists our total abhorrence of their methods and our determination that they will not succeed in destroying or undermining our democratic way of life.

"We note that the local Police Commander has already held a consultative meeting with his standing reference group of community members and he has deployed his officers widely to guard against any attempts at incitement to racist attacks or reprisals. The Faith Sub-Group of the Local Strategic Partnership has also been contacted to re-assure minority communities and to request information on any threats or intimidation."

Edward Lister

Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.